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Entries in antique jewelry (394)

My Personal Collection Up For Auction via EBTH.com

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Hey Everyone! Just wanted to let you all know something pretty exciting--I took nearly 50 pieces from my personal collection and put them on Everything But the House (EBTH)!  What is so great about this auction website is the amount of unique, highly curated items that go up for bidding every day of the week. You can basically shop estate sales from the comfort of your own home. I can't tell you how many things I've purchased from EBTH--several large gold mirrors (as pictured in my feature), one of my absolute favorite rings, and a lot of rock & mineral specimens. The variety of what you can find is impressive!

Another really great thing, for buyers at least, is that everything starts out at $1! And no reserves on anything! I have some amazing pieces of jewelry that have really high values, up now in its own auction--but HURRY! Bidding ends on February 16th!! 

 

 

You can check out the sale here.


And my article explaining my TOP TEN TIPS for VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOPPING.

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? See more from my jewel box!

Valentine's Day Picks from KAVADOR

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Launched in 2015, Kavador was created with a main goal in mind: to dig into the vaults of jewelry stores around the country and give these hidden jewels their time to shine online! Jennie Pastor, CEO and Founder of Kavador, and myself have a few things in common. One of them being that we both realize there are so many amazing pieces of jewelry out there belonging to smaller, independent jewelers that don't have the means to promote their inventory online. Websites are expensive and having one that is fully functional with e-commerce capability is often way over a jewelry store owner's head. Just as I like to travel the US, visiting jewelry stores to showcase all that is out there, Kavador does as well! Only they have a whole team dedicated to curating items they find and listing them online, available for purchase. Kavador has quickly become a growing marketplace for stores to sell their pieces and for jewelry lovers to frequent often to find new treasures. And if you glance at their inventory, you'll recognize right away how this website needs to be on your radar and checked regularly! Their SOLD gallery is fun to look at as well, although it is slightly sad because they've already found their forever home.

I'm so excited to partner with Kavador--not only have I gotten the chance to learn more about this amazing company and speak with Jennie (interview below) but I also got to curate my own favorites just in time for Valentine's Day. I've also got a special treat for everyone--have $150 credit on me! Have fun exploring the vaults of Kavador and use code GEMGOSSIP150 from now until the end of February for your $150 credit.

>> Shop my Valentine's Day Picks here! <<

Hope you enjoy my interview with CEO Jennie Pastor--and be sure to follow Kavador here:

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As a kid, I have always been attracted to glitter and sparkle - I made my own accessories, tinkered with colorful nails and clothes and hair... No surprise then that I married into a family of jewelers and gemologists!

My family has been in the fine jewelry business for over 40 years, owning and operating independent retail jewelry stores and developing relationships with jewelry lovers and buyers as they select and maintain jewelry for generations. I've personally watched how dramatically the industry has changed in the last decade, specifically the challenges faced by independent local retailers in the face of changing consumer buying patterns and reduced in-store foot traffic.

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The concept of Kavador began at a family dinner - my father-in-law, who owns a number of local fine jewelry stores, was lamenting the outsized expense and poor returns of his recent investment in a new custom website. His expertise is in fine jewelry and in-person sales and customer service; digital marketing and e-commerce are not in his bag of tricks! Our family then began exploring the issue together: how could local independent jewelers reap the benefits of the growth in online jewelry sales without damaging their local brand and bottom line?

And from that dinner, Kavador was born...

We saw a startling need for an online marketplace specifically for fine jewelry which would give local retail jewelers and designers a platform to sell jewelry to a broad, national audience through a trusted brand with digital marketing expertise, and give fine jewelry consumers unique access to these treasures otherwise hidden in local jewelers' vaults.

We launched Kavador in late 2015, and have been happily adding new retail jeweler partners and uniting spectacular jewelry with new owners since!

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Kavador's audience is looking for pieces that speak to their individuality and style - statement cocktail rings, with colored gemstones and intricate designs, continue to be big sellers. More broadly, we have seen a real shift in preferences from mass-produced, generic jewelry from big brands toward vintage and estate pieces with bold colors, interesting settings, and... character.

A few of our most recent sales included:

Isa: a multi-colored pave sapphire bracelet

Phoenix: a 34ct cabochon cut Amethyst cocktail ring

Laksha: 15ct blue Topaz cocktail ring

Keely: a Tsavorite Garnet and Diamond butterfly necklace

We curate just one of each piece, so we shed a happy tear each time one of these standout treasures finds a new home - but we're thrilled that our buyers have found their match!

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These last 18 months have been such an adventure!! But my favorite Kavador treasure hunting memory, the one that really affirmed for me this concept of partnering with local jewelers to bring their treasures online, actually happened shortly before we officially launched.

We were out there pitching the Kavador idea to our family's jeweler network and to local jewelers in our town, trying to convince them to take a chance with us, list jewelry online through our start-up brand as part of our launch collection... And one of those meetings, with a local multi-generation family-owned jewelry business, became less of a new business meeting and more of a jewelry gossip session. His collection included mostly estate jewelry, including some spectacular vintage and antique pieces - and the owner was so excited to talk about the unique design features and histories of every item, even flaws became assets (because it gave those pieces "unique character")!! I think we were there for over three hours, most of it going through his jewelry piece by piece, as if he were a teacher talking about individual students.

This jeweler ultimately became part of our "launch crew" of retail jeweler partners, and we are thrilled to have his special treasures available for an online audience that would never otherwise have the opportunity to see them.

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Kavador recently launched a new and enhanced website in November, and the momentum these last few months has been really exciting! We have been adding new retail partners and new jewelry at a steady clip, expanding our marketing campaigns and social media following, and absolutely LOVE hearing from happy customers - some of whom will soon be helping us curate their favorites on the website!

Our dream is for Kavador to become for small, local jewelers and designers what Etsy has become for independent artists and craftsmen - a trusted marketplace for selling special, standout fine jewelry. Jewelry consumers have a clear appetite for special pieces, and a preference for supporting small businesses. Kavador's mission is to unite these consumers with specially-curated inventory from local jewelers, thus helping these jewelers continue to thrive.

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Kavador -- all photography by Gem Gossip.

 

kavador

 

 

Jewelry Collection Stories: Malena of Malena's Boutique

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Instagram is such a great haven to meet fellow antique jewelry collectors and connect with them--most my stories about finding people kind of begin like that, and this story is no different. I posted a photo of my dendritic agate ring and it caught Malena's attention because she has a similar one in her West Chester, PA boutique. She commented on my photo and I checked out her page only to find an insane diamond ring which I needed to see more of!  She gladly took some photos for me to show me and our conversation grew from there. Malena's Boutique is aptly named; her shop is filled with vintage and antique finds--from clothing to jewelry, both costume and precious. Her store has been on countless lists concerning "best of Philly" and she enjoys every moment of it. I caught up with Malena and her personal jewelry collection--here is her story:

"Even as a child I felt a gravitational-like pull towards clothing and and jewelry of past eras. By twelve I started buying vintage clothing at thrift shops and dreaming of attending fashion design school. I opened my vintage boutique about a year after graduating from Pratt and will be celebrating 14 years in business this June. On a daily basis sellers bring pieces in that they inherited or no longer fit a need in their wardrobe. I also buy from jewelers who are accustomed to pulling out stones and melting gorgeous old settings (the thought of which makes me flinch!) On some days I sort through items of up to 10 people so I am exposed to easily thousands of items each week.

To me certain pieces romance their way into my collection. I try to be "good" and not keep things that are intended for the boutique, but sometimes it's just love at first sight and they become part of my treasury. Slightly quirky or oversized antique pieces resonate with me. I didn't even realize I had a locket collection until a dear friend of mine commented on how many unusual ones I had! My favorite is oblong sterling silver with simple engraving of the year 1920, but on the inside the owner had written a note where the photo was supposed to go that reads, "DARN YOUR CURIOSITY" I so wish I could have met this woman and learned her story behind the note.

My most recent acquisition is the rose gold watch chain ring with diamond buckle. It articulates and the tab can be pulled to resize the ring smaller. I've always been drawn to the buckle motif, but the pairing of it with rose gold and the unusual construction just made it too unusual to pass up. I purchased the turquoise ring with emerald cut stones from a jeweler who had pulled the center stone and was going to scrap the platinum setting. I had a stone cutter find and set the sugarloaf Turquoise, it's one of my most favorite pieces. Turquoise set in gold or platinum is something I collect, I am restoring some Victorian turquoise Acorn earrings at the moment I can't wait to wear.

My extra long filigree dinner ring is definitely in my top 5 pieces I own. It was originally owned by a teller at my bank. Her mother willed her a collection of rings but this one doesn't suit her style or lifestyle. She went to a few jewelers in our small town to sell it, but was horrified to hear they were going to melt it and pull the stones. One of the jewelers suggested to bring it to me, that I may want to keep it as is and they were right. I bought it and wear it almost everyday. Sometimes we see each other at the bank and it makes her happy to see it being enjoyed regularly and not destroyed.

Vibrant Plique a Jour Egyptian revival jewelry is my latest love. The feminine colors juxtaposed with less-than-lady-like scarab beetle motifs fascinates me. I haven't yet settled on a piece I need to own, but who knows, it could walk into my shop at any moment."

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Malena --> @msmalena

How to Edit your Jewelry Collection & Know When to Sell

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My jewelry collection has gone through SO MANY changes this past year. As a collector, it is important to edit your collection no matter what it is that you collect. My ring collection, for example, has shrunk by at least fifty rings recently and normally this would freak me out, but I actually feel really good about this decision. I recently came across this photo of my collection and was astonished by how many rings I actually had. A more recent photo is shown above, and you can see the amount that has been edited. This decision has allowed me to refine and be precisive about what I like, allowed me to purchase items that I thought were out of my budget, and allowed me to grow my collection in a new way (even though I was subtracting from my collection). You might be wondering how you can do the same, so I've put together some tips and recommendations on how you can do just that! And as always, happy collecting!

1. Although I've never read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I've spoken with people who have and read a few blogs about this decluttering strategy. A part of me fears this technique, since I live in a world where I love my things and have way too many things, while another part of me thrives off of getting rid of stuff. It is a never-ending battle--but just as Marie teaches in her book, you must take each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy? Do this with your jewelry collection! You'd be surprised at what items you've been holding on to for the most random reasons, and how they actually spark the opposite of joy. 

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2. Go through all your jewelry items and remove pieces that need repairs--these could be rings with missing stones, jewelry that you've always hated but wanted to give a "makeover" to, pieces that rarely get worn, or items that you've been meaning to convert into something else. Removing these from your main jewelry box will allow you to focus on what you have that is wearable and you often see things in a different light when there is less.

Once you've removed these items, put them in little baggies or envelopes and write on them what needs to be done to each piece so that you are able to love it again and wear it again. Is it a ring sizing? Write down "size ring to 5 to fit my ring finger" and then place it in a pile. If you're redesigning pieces you own, feel free to draw to the best of your ability your design idea.

Now that you have all your "repair" items, find a reputable jeweler that you know and trust. Hopefully you've worked with him or her before so you know what to expect and know their capabilities. Set a goal of dropping off 2-3 items per week until all your repairs are finally finished. You'll get momentum going once you've picked up your first batch of finished items--it's like getting a new piece of jewelry all over again! 

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3. Certain gemstones turn me off and you have to get comfortable with yourself as a collector to realize that. This means buying things at one time that you realize aren't for you or just simply don't like anymore. There are a few gemstones and gemstone colors that I'm not a fan of, but I used to be--colors that don't really go with my skintone or aren't pleasing to my eye as much as another color family. The point is to recognize this, either sell or repurpose these items to "edit" your collection, and then take the money you've made from selling these items to buy jewelry that fits within your new editing parameters.

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4. Trends come and go, but in the world of jewelry--certain trends stay longer than most disposable fashion trends. Also, like many trends, they can resurface several years from now and those items you "wish you had that you sold years ago" could be the next coolest thing. So, if you have a piece of jewelry that may be considered "trendy" but you honestly love it, but wearing it today may not necessarily fit with what you're wearing now--I would think twice about selling something like this! 

A prime example of this for me and my collection was the dainty jewelry trend (which is still actually very strong today). I liked this trend at first and it also fit with my budget a few years ago. I started gravitating toward bigger, bolder pieces and have never been able to look at a dainty ring the same again. I ended up selling most of my dainty rings and found that selling like five dainty rings could get me one bold piece, which was music to my ears. The bigger pieces bring me more joy and hopefully that doesn't change anytime soon! ;)

Another examples of this is gold chains. Growing up, I received a lot of gold chains from my grandparents as gifts from Italy. I went through a phase in college where I only wore this one chain of my dad's with a medallion of St. Anthony on it (my dad gave me both), so I sold every other chain I owned because I simply never wore anything else. Today, I would kill to have some of those chains now--there was some really cool pieces which now would be very trendy with the chain layering trend that is happening today.

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5. Knowing when, what and how to sell is a big task that has some complications here and there, but luckily if you purchased your items you want to now sell at the right price back then, it should be able to yield the same price if not more today. Jewelry is great like that because gold and gemstones are almost always valuable (I'm not talking about fashion jewelry or costume pieces). 

If you haven't worn a piece of jewelry for over five years, I think it is safe to say you should sell it--or at least ask yourself, why haven't you worn it?  Once you've gathered pieces that you feel ok with selling, now you have to figure out what platform you'd like to sell them.

Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane are all great options if you have a large amount of pieces you'd like to sell. If you open a shop on any of these sites and you're not a formal antique seller, it is important that you state that in your bio/about section. There is a big difference between a dealer and a collector who has lots of items and just wants to sell them. Be open to making mistakes and allowing to accept returns if it is your first time selling. 

If you're a collector on Instagram and a part of the Instagram Antique Jewelry Community (idk why I capitalized that lol) then selling some items on your Instagram page is a fast and easy way to accomplish that. It is also fee-free, whereas with the sites I mentioned above take a fee if you sell through them. But this option is only as good as the size of your audience. Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane have thousands and thousands of visitors everyday, whereas your Instagram page might be short of that number.

You can also TRADE -- I started the hashtag #gemgossipSWAP for those interested in posting items they're willing to part with and find others' who want to trade as well. I've personally used the hashtag myself and am now the proud owner of a ring I traded with someone.

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You won't believe what my jewelry box looked like 7 years ago

My Jewel Box: Five Ring Additions to Round Out 2016

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

I was giving myself a good chuckle yesterday because I've gotten a few comments from people asking why I stopped my YouTube videos--especially my main series Gem Gossip Read & Wear. The point of the series was to try to keep in tact a New Year's Resolution I made last year--which was to only buy one ring per month, and also read one jewelry book per month. As with most resolutions, I started out strong--almost too strong. I knew my demise was near. Sure enough, I couldn't keep up and bought way too many rings. Also my sister who edits and creates all the video content was having health difficulties, so that contributed to my sudden drop off from YouTube as well. Hopefully I'll be back with something new and exciting, so stay tuned.

As the year came to a close (nearly 20 days ago, are you kidding me?!) I kind of went over board with the additions to my collection. So much so that I haven't been keeping up with the My Jewel Box posts--so I'm compiling a bunch of my acquisitions into this one post! Five rings, to be exact--all acquired in November/December. Wanted to share the stories behind and details for those interested--BECAUSE I LOVE READING STUFF LIKE THAT. Hope you do too! ;)

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

This beauty was my Christmas gift from my husband this year--yes, another antique elongated diamond ring. "Don't you have enough of those kinds of rings?!" Umm, no. I seriously cannot get enough of this style--something about it. This particular ring was found at auction from Hampton Estate Auction. It's platinum and set with Old European cut diamonds, a 1920s piece through and through. Most of my other elongated rings are from earlier than that--so this was fun to add to the collection.

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

For some reason this opal cluster ring caught my attention like no other! Some might not think it is anything special...10k gold...a few simple opals in a cluster design, nothing groundbreaking. But the glow in these opals, I mean, you can't put a price on something like this! Well, actually you can...and then I'll buy it. I found this baby at Nashville's first ever Big Flea. It was from a booth that had LOTS of items and I spent quite some time looking. When I saw it my heart obviously did that flutter thing--and of course, the lady in charge of the booth was busy with other people--so for a good while I stood there pale as ever, thinking someone would swoop in and grab it lol.

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

This ring was actually not a ring at first--it came to me as a brooch! There were certain signs I noticed that kind of point to this brooch actually being a ring originally, and I was happy to restore it to its natural state. I was covering the Shirley Temple sale for Heritage Auctions when I came across another sale they were having just a few days after and the amount of amazing lots they had floored me. I automatically thought, "there's no way I'm going to win" upon seeing all the jewelry. Auction day came and it was a late night, constantly checking bids and the proxy bids. I was thrilled to win this brooch and no sooner than I received it, I had it in front of my jeweler, showing him what kind of style band to put on it. I love how it turned out and can't tell you how comfortable it is.

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

You may have noticed that a lot of my new acquisitions are rarely from eBay (like they always used to be)! I've fallen off the eBay bandwagon and haven't found anything good on it in awhile--I used to search daily, and now I'm down to maybe once a month and I'm usually disappointed. This fun turquoise ring is actually from eBay--the rare occurrence I went on there and actually came away with something decent. I truly miss the good ole eBay days where everything was amazing and authentic...and most of all, cheap! Now it is riddled with knock offs from India and sketchy sellers, along with the same items that haven't sold in 5 years.

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

The last ring I'd like to highlight has been in the "pipeline" for a couple months and I've been clearly obsessed with it because if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this a lot! ;) It is designed by Becca of BCE Jewelry and when we met up over dinner in Nashville late last summer, she brought along some major drool-worthy jewels and some loose stones. I fell in love with three opals that magically looked as though they belonged together. We went back and forth on the configuration (I even posted two different versions and asked for YOUR opinion) and in the end, I settled on what Becca had originally designed for the layout. I love her aesthetic and style of her jewelry designs, and so pumped to finally own something from her. Can't wait to see what is in store for her future!

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? See more from my personal jewel box!